MERRY CHRISTMAS! A deep and heartfelt thanks my cyber-friends, who in this past year have done so much to make me feel so good about what I do every day. Your encouragement, love, laughter, goodwill and General Excellence have done a great deal to buttress my spirits during I'm afraid proved for me a difficult year. God bless you, every one.

Speaking of blessings. If you feel you've got even one iota of blessing to spare, I'd like you to consider doing the most Christmas thing possible, which is giving  (just a little bit!) to the truly downtrodden. I am speaking specifically of the 28 (total) mothers and children I know who tonight will sleep in the emergency shelter to which they recently fled in response to the domestic violence they've suffered. These are women without resources who, finally, had enough abuse, and decided, against all odds, to seek a better life for themselves and their children. They are amazingly, heartbreakingly brave.

I know these women and children because they've taken shelter in housing provided by a 25-year-old non-profit organization called Community Resource Center, which is located in Encinitas, CA. My wife Catherine has worked at CRC for five years. It's an extraordinary organization. They just got done giving about a month's worth of good food (including everything needed for a Christmas feast---including a huge frozen turkey) to 1,200 poor families---each of whom also received clothes and (new!) toys for their kids. It was all free to them all, and for most of these families represents the whole of their Christmas bounty this year. This "Holiday Baskets" program is something that CRC does every year. It's ... well, the very essence of Christmas, in action.

Anyway, this year no matter how much Christmas joy I experience, or how much Yuletide happiness I see, I can't get those 28 women and children out of my mind and heart. Those kids need toys, clothing, blankets---and they need them right now more than they're likely to at any other time of their life. And I don't need to tell you how much those mothers wish they had something to give their kids this year. If you'd like to help them do that, please do. Giving is down this year, and---frankly---CRC is tapped out. Thank you.

Community Resource Center's web page is here.

Their online donations page is here.

Their street address is: Community Resource Center, 650 Second Street, Encinitas, CA. 92024

Thanks again, very much. God bless you, and merry Christmas.


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